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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Scholarships at a school


Guest Megari

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Megari, which of your daughter's many teachers put her on pointe and how long has she been studying pointe work? I am just so surprised since you state that you are a classical ballet dancer. I also agree with Treefrog, seems odd that you state you are worried about people knowing but your website so clearly states where she is studying and what scholarships she has received.

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What I find most disturbing about this matter is asking/teaching children to become liars.

 

Although I realize studios want to attract and keep the best students irrespective of their means to pay- it would be best to have a studio policy with the details clearly stated in a handbook or posted. Connecting financial aid with student's ability can become tricky. What happens when there is one child who lacks talent but “loves to dance”, is always in class and at rehearsals but her family can’t pay the tuition – versus another child at the studio with a “bucket-load” of talent who is frequently late for class, routinely misses rehearsals and whose parents have the means to pay but think they shouldn’t have to? If financial assistance is offered, someone other than the AD or teachers should have that responsibility (maybe the studio’s accountant or business manager), and financial matters should be kept private. Some studios like the one my DD attends uses a “quid pro quo”, where tuition is waved in lieu of cleaning the studio. IMO, this is a bad idea. If the studio offers scholarships based on ability or potential or hard work, than I think the recipients should be publicized. A scholarship is an honor!

 

Regarding, a teacher putting a young girl on pointe too early. The teacher may not know the girl’s true age. I know a mother who bought pointe shoes for her ten year old daughter against the advice of the teachers. This mother had been a dancer and felt since her daughter had lost all of her baby teeth, her bones were developed enough for pointe work. I’m sorry if this is :blink:

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WOW. Just when you think you've seen it all! I went to that home page and couldn't belive that they are soliciting funds for ballet leos and tights!! I really wonder if Universal Ballet Academy even know that they are listed as sponsors for this child. As for doing Arabian in Nutcracker at age 6, it must be a really small production.

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Guest enjoyingtheride

I am sorry, but I have missed something here. Where is the link to the homepage that is being discussed within this thread, please?

Thanks....

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Guest enjoyingtheride
Megari, after looking at your homepage I feel emboldened to ask: are you worried that people will know she's on scholarship or they won't know?

Perhaps this requested privacy might now be compromised, since the writer has added knowledge of another award her DD had won. Might be easy for some to put 2 + 2 together, might it not?

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Hall monitor speaking here. The original question has been answered and discussed, and the thread is in danger of veering into uninvited speculation and comment. I'm closing it.

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  • Administrators

While I totally agree with Treefrog that this topic has gotten way off, and it should be closed, I am reopening it because there are some questions which were asked and not yet answered by Megari. I think we can ignore the issue of the website at this point, and give Megari a chance to respond to vrs' questions from this morning. If it continues to go on about the website, then I will close it again.

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There are so many unfortunate aspects to this thread, I would suggest deleting it all and offering the mother the opportunity to re-register with a new name, deleting link to a very overly revealing webpage, giving way way too much info on a young child.

 

If there is a desire to participate in discussions about ballet training, etc. , she will then have a second chance to part of it - without the baggage of all this.

 

Regardless, please take a scalpel to that link. :)

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Syr, the link is in her profile, not on the board in a post. Therefore, I cannot take a scalpel to it. I will write to her and ask her if she would like the thread to be deleted and a chance to start over. However, I would still really like to know the answers to the questions asked by vrs this morning.

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Guest Vicarmac

To get back to scholarships--I agree with thedriver. I don't feel comfortable with asking kids to lie and keep secrets. It is easy to say it is no ones business but this secretiveness often isn't so secret and it breeds more bad feelings in the long run than if it had been in the open in the first place. Financial aid is different and that should be private between the school and the parents but a policy should be stated that people can confidentially apply for it and in a best case scenario it should be handled by someone outside the studio.

But scholarships on the sly are a murky area to me. Not so people can brag about their kid but because of what I already stated. It isn't fair to the kid to be told to lie, even if it is just by omission.

Supposedly ours are all out in the open. KNowing this place there might be secret ones. But they have at least made an attempt to do them equitably having an audition with the supporters that fund them watching. They don't pick the merit recommendations they just observe, then they have a committee that looks over financial need too. (No teachers or office people in on that area) The auditioners give them their input on merit. They pool the results and give out awards. They then announce them for all to see. So some get more nominal merit awards if they don't have much financial need some get more mostly for need and the biggest amounts are a combo of both.

Frankly I would be uncomfortable if we had been called in and told we had a scholarship but my daughter was not to tell anyone.

I know of other studios that do the secret ones but everyone knows or thinks they do and there is more bitterness among non receivers there, than there is here where it is out in the open.

In fact many opt out of trying out since there are attendence requirements etc. that they would rather not have, but they feel they COULD have a chance at least.

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Guest Megari

I will clarify a few things. My dd is NOT dancing en pointe. She was given her first pair of point shoes as a gift from a teacher. The teacher did know her age and did NOT allow her to use them for pointe work. She would use them dancing on demi-pointe when the rest of her class was doing their point work. I was told this was not unsual. We have done all we felt possible to insure our dd's future, long term health. We have a podiatrist who advises us and gives dd "well check-ups" every 6 months. She dances 5 days a week. If she is ever injured we would prefer the doctor already be familiar with her.

 

The picture is misleading. A friend lent her a tutu and we took picture of her in it en pointe, standing stationary. This was approved by her doctors (two different ones). They were actually supportive of pointe classes with restrictions (shoes that were not too small, a limit of 5 minutes and absolutely NO jumping). They were more interested in the strength of her muscles than the maturity of her bones. This was a BIG suprise to us but it has been our choice for our dd NOT to participate in pointe classes until she is a bit older.

 

We have been greatly appreciative of the scholarships dd has been given. She could not receive the instruction she has without them. Her website does have an area thanking private donors or those who have given her scholarships (ones we were allowed to publicly thank). Until recently our view of scholarships was similiar to that of a college scholarship. I have learned that it is a completely different world.

 

My dd was with a local performing youth company. It was very small but they did have many performance opportunities. They visited retirement homes, libraries, and public schools. They had theater performances 3 times a year. I will have to edit the website. I never thought about it before but I should have specified Arabian Corps instead of just Arabian. She was one of 4 girls in the corps.

 

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The home page shows a very young child in a tutu and pointe shoes.

As a ballet teacher, both myself and my colleagues would know not to give a gift of pointe shoes to a child. I also caution parents against the signed pointe shoes that they can buy when at the ballet, cause I know for the child who dreams of pointe work they are often put on at home when Mom and ballet teacher are not looking.

 

Sometimes newer teachers offer scholarships to talented young students to keep them at the school and not loose them.

As said before just because you are from a certain place and even danced with a certain company does not give you the qualifications or the knowlege to train children.

 

A physically gifted child still needs to be brought along carefully, gently and with restraint. The grown up dancer who is healthy and strong and ready to work if they have the talent and ability is what we all (teachers and parents) should be working towards. :thumbsup:

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I think we have alot of different factors that we will find will play into this scholarship discussion. I will leave the pointe issues to our professionals as I am "not going there"! :thumbsup:

 

But it seems that opinion on the public/private debate possibly directly correlates between whether the scholarship is a one that all can "audition" for or not. In our case, they are just given out by the owner and I didn't think about auditions as a variable originally.

 

I think we are all pretty much in agreement that financial scholarships should be quiet due to their tender nature. (However, I must say that one must live in Pandora's box to think that magically the need scholarships will stay quiet in a studio and the merit ones somehow will always leak). I would think it would cause the same amount of issues but for different reasons within a studio. While I don't like making kids lie either, I can see the ill done by other parents and other kids if either situation was public. I can see the whispers of "X parents can't pay for dance" hurting just as much as "X got a scholarship and is not deserving or now she thinks she's hot" to a child. And just as petty.

 

I guess from our debate, we've realized that the studio owner probably knows her/his situation best and what we think really shouldn't matter. As they make the best decision that they can based on the information that they have about their own environment. :sleeping:

 

vj

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Ditto to all that Memo has said, and a couple of observations on "advertising". The sight of an 8-year-old on pointe is enough to set the teeth of responsible teachers and experienced parents right up on edge. Even if done for a lark, the alarm bells go off all over the place. Now, subsequent pictures inside show me a little girl who seems to have a potentially beautiful line, and very nice extension in arabesque/attitude, but that lead picture was still coloring my thoughts. (and it wasn't a nice color)

 

Secondly, the personal solicitation for funds, even a single dollar, made in a broadcast medium like the web is just - I'm sorry - tacky.

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